Looking through the eyepiece of a Hydrogen-alpha Telescope can be a thrilling experience. The Sun is constantly changing and can become violent at any time. The Sun’s weather can effect life on Earth and being a witness to that cause and effect in real time never gets old.
If you are choosing to use your Telescope in Visual Only mode you will be offered a smaller Blocking Filter during that step. This keeps costs down.
Visual use will allow you to use an inexpensive mount with manual controls if you choose. You are looking through the eyepiece and can move around the Sun’s disk as needed.
Finding the Sun can be tricky at first. We definitely suggest the inexpensive Sol Searcher.
You will need eyepieces. Any simple eyepiece will work (you may already have some). We generally suggest 21mm to start and 12mm for higher magnifications. A Lunt zoom is a great way to scan around and zoom in on interesting features.
A special note for beginners:
Don’t expect to see fine details and/or surface details the first time you look.
Looking into a Solar Telescope is much like walking into a dark room.
You have probably been standing in the Sunlight and your eyes are contracted. A Solar Telescope not only transmits a small fraction of the light around you it is also transmitting a very narrow wavelength of that light. Generally 0.5-0.7 Angstroms at 656.28nm. It takes both time for your eyes to adjust and time for your eyes to “learn” what they are looking at. When you first walk into a dark room you see very little and would assume there is nothing to look at. However, 10 minutes later you navigate the room and start to pick out objects. The more you keep trying, the more you begin to see.
To put this in perspective. I have been viewing H-alpha for about 24 years. I use my right eye. I can pick up the very finest of details. I can Doppler shift from the Red to the Blue wing of the H-alpha line and can split spicules. That’s my right eye..
If I use my left eye I begin by seeing a red/orange ball with a few prominences around the edge. After a few minutes I pick up some surface details. After 20 minutes I can pick out filaments and begin to see details at the edge. I imagine this is exactly what looking through a scope for the first time must be like. But like anything else, spending some time behind the eyepiece and learning how to view is well worth the effort.